Parks Canada with the support of the Bruce Trail Conservancy acquires new land at Bruce Peninsula

Parks Canada with the support of the Bruce Trail Conservancy acquires new land at Bruce Peninsula

Posted on: July 18, 2018 6:30 am

Bruce Peninsula National Park now 90 percent complete

July 18, 2018                                  Toronto, Ontario                             Parks Canada Agency


Canada’s national parks play a critical role in fighting climate change, protecting wildlife and our natural spaces, and supporting jobs and local economies across the country.

Today, Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, along with Beth

Gilhespy, Chief Executive Officer of the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC)

, announced that with support from the BTC, Parks Canada has reached an agreement to acquire the

3,272 acre

Driftwood Cove property at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. Through Budget 2018 the Government of Canada is investing more than $1.3 billion to protect our nature, parks, and wild spaces – and this funding was used to acquire the Driftwood Cove property. The Bruce Trail Conservancy also committed a significant financial contribution towards the purchase, and played a critical role in acquiring the property as a portion of the famous Bruce Trail runs through the property.The acquisition will now bring Bruce Peninsula National Park to 90 per cent completion. Located along the rugged coast of Georgian Bay, the park is a Canadian gem: It contains limestone coasts, cliffside cedars, clear-water lakes, and is home to black bears, barred owls and a variety of bird species.Since the establishment of Bruce Peninsula National Park in 1987, Parks Canada has added over 140 parcels of land to the park on a willing seller–willing buyer basis. The Driftwood Cove property is one of the largest privately-held parcels of land in the Georgian Bay area, and will represent 9 per cent of the national park’s lands, and 22 per cent of its shoreline. This historic investment in nature will also help the Government meet its international commitments for biodiversity, sustainable development, and climate change, including conserving at least 17 per cent of our land and freshwater by 2020. Currently 10.5 per cent of our land and freshwater are protected.

Within four hours of several major cities, Bruce Peninsula National Park provides opportunities for many urban and new Canadians to discover and connect with nature. For those interested in experiencing Bruce Peninsula, particularly the iconic Grotto, please plan your trip by visiting the Parks Canada website –


“Bruce Peninsula National Park contains many endangered species, rugged cliffs overlooking Georgian Bay, and holds cultural significance to local Indigenous peoples. Our investment to help complete Bruce Peninsula National Park – with the support of Bruce Trail Conservancy – is a true legacy for our children and grandchildren.

The Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“The ecology and geology of the 3,200-acre Driftwood Cove property are truly magnificent. The Bruce Trail Conservancy is very grateful to the previous owners for allowing access for the Bruce Trail on their land and is delighted to partner with Parks Canada to preserve the land, and ensure that the eight kilometres of the Bruce Trail remain in place. We look forward to working with Parks Canada in the coming months to implement new Bruce Trail projects elsewhere within Bruce Peninsula National Park.”

Warren Bell,
Chair, Bruce Trail Conservancy Board of Directors

“Acquisition of Driftwood Cove by Parks Canada permanently preserves a crucial part of the Bruce Trail on the ecologically-significant Bruce Peninsula, and ensures that hundreds of thousands of Canadians each year can continue to experience this irreplaceable landscape. The Bruce Trail Conservancy’s financial commitment to the Driftwood Cove acquisition is a testament to the strength our 30-year relationship with Bruce Peninsula National Park, and to our own growing capacity for land preservation and Bruce Trail securement, made possible through the support of our members, volunteers and donors.” 

Beth Gilhespy,
Chief Executive Officer, Bruce Trail Conservancy

Quick facts

  • The property was publicly listed for $20.6 million, however, until the final closing of the property transaction the price cannot be made public.

  • The property features 6.5 kilometres of uninterrupted Georgian Bay shoreline, which represents 22 per cent of the park’s coast, and is home to at least 10 federally listed species at risk including the Massasauga rattlesnake, some of the oldest trees in eastern North America, and dozens of ecologically, geologically and culturally significant cave systems. 

  • The property forms a significant part of the UNESCO Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve and contains an 8-kilometre section of the world-famous Bruce Trail, which stretches 900 kilometres from the Niagara River to Tobermory.

  • The Bruce Trail Conservancy is a not-for-profit, charitable organization founded in 1963 that is securing a permanent route for the Bruce Trail by raising funds to preserve Niagara Escarpment land.

  • Following the largest consultation ever on Parks Canada, Minister McKenna has put forward her priorities for Parks Canada. Bruce Peninsula National Park is an excellent example of Parks Canada’s efforts to protect and restore our natural spaces and enable Canadians to discover and connect with nature. Bruce Peninsula National Park also helps contribute to a vibrant local tourism economy.

  • Budget 2018’s historic investment in nature will support the Government’s international commitments to expand the network of protected areas and protect Canada’s biodiversity by conserving at least 17 per cent of our land and freshwater by 2020 in collaboration with the provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, and other key partners.

  • The Government of Canada is celebrating families and the importance of protected areas with free admission to Parks Canada’s places for youth and free admission for one year for new Canadians, starting in 2018 and beyond.

Associated links


Caroline Thériault      
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Marsha Russell
Director of Communications and Fund Development, Bruce Trail Conservancy
905-529-6821 ext. 251

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

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